February 23, 2018

Did you know you may be Liable if you Fail to Report your Incidents?

Importance of reporting
Reporting of accidents and incidents is important on two levels:
Late reporting can have a significant effect on the final figures used by the department to measure safety performance for the mining industry for each financial year. Timely reporting also allows sites to recognise clusters and trends of incidents, including potentially serious incidents (i.e. near misses). This, in turn, provides an opportunity for management to address root causes.
When reporting is done well and acted upon, it can help engender a consistent mindset of wariness, and provide opportunities for reform rather than repair. Reporting is important if resilient safety cultures are to become the industry norm.
What could happen if incident reporting is:
Not done and not done well?
  • Hazard may not be identified
  • Incorrect assumptions may be made about exposure to hazard and associated risks
  • Risk assessment may be flawed because it does not include all knowledge for the workplace or activity
  • Outcome for the next person may not be so favourable
  • Risk assessment may be inadequate
  • Control measures could be ineffective because they are based on insufficient or incorrect information
Not followed up?
  • If there is no remedial action, there is still exposure to the hazard
  • People stop reporting because they think it is a waste of time when nothing happens
  • Are manufacturers advised that there could be an issue with their equipment or product? If they aren’t aware there is a problem, how will they know to recall or redesign it?
What accidents and incidents need to be reported for a mining operation?
Under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 and Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995, for a mining operation (including exploration operations), the following must be reported to the department:
  • accidents involving injury to persons
  • occurrences (commonly referred to as notifiable incidents for reporting purposes).
What is a reportable accident?
Under section 76 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, an accident on a mining operation must be reported if it causes an injury that prevents a person from returning to his or her duties as they were being performed at the time of the accident.
This covers situations where the person would be unable to return to those duties the following day, regardless of whether or not the person is rostered to work that day.

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